winter becomes spring

momo blossom

the first peach blossoms have started, the ice is frazzling, girls are wearing mini-skirts and you can smell the pollen in the air. winter is done. theres still enough ice for a few weeks at least and the snow will keep falling, but many areas are now either buried or dangerous, aside from notable exceptions which are now in their prime.

the alpine rock is till exceptional, fuji finally has bearable temperatures (tho higher winds) and in the lower ranges the alpine snow pack leading to the upper mixed stuff is beginning to open up – spring is by no means the end of cold-condition climbing.

amida dake from jogazawa ice climbing

above: looking back at Amidadake and a great winter. new ideas ahead

below: late season ice in Jogazawa. 30m & 60m ice routes with several weeks still left in them

jogazawa ice climbing 2014

down in the southern islands temps are already good for the Big Canyoning micro-expeditions on Kuchinoerabujima.

we finished off the winter with a few days at Futakuchi in Tohoku, Japans best ice and mixed climbing location – made all the better by almost nobody going there. +180 ice and mixed routes along two low valleys, laid out as if intended for the purpose, the mountain gods even being kind enough to put hot springs at the head of the gorges.

futakuchi sendai ice climbing

the road to Futakuchi: one of the worlds best kept ice & mixed climbing secrets

recon all sewn up, we will be starting next winter with a series of trips in there to film and train, along with new micro-expeditions with a focus towards winter walls.

winter wall training portaledge tent on ice screws

big ideas for big guys: Will from The Project trying out a portaledge on ice screws. and you thought regular ‘ledging was freaky…

so, spring is now all about conditioning; making up for what was lost over 4 months of specificity and making new gains for whats ahead.

in the schedule is several spring, summer and fall trips to test new equipment, develop new concepts, train new people and work on The Project Film that showcases the TMP gear system within the context of Japan and North Asia. amongst all this will be efforts to show the unknown, including Japanese multiday walls, hard alpine and places the world doesnt know. whatever clichés you have been accepting – prepare to sweep them away.